The $300 weekly limit on how much a person can earn before unemployment benefits are affected could become permanent policy.
The state raised the limit from $50 as one of the new rules being applied by the Georgia Department of Labor during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the new rule, a person can earn up to $300 with no effect to their jobless benefits, including the additional $600 being supplied weekly by federal economic stimulus. The state jobless benefit is reduced by $1 for every $1 over $300 they earn.
“We’ve started preliminary discussions … to make this a permanent feature of the Georgia unemployment system,” Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said. “I think there’s a lot of advantages to it to help an individual, and it’s something we haven’t really considered in a very long time.
“We haven’t considered it recently because the economy has been so good.”
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Hall County had the lowest jobless rate in the state, with many companies struggling to fill ranks. A labor department report last week said the area’s jobless rate climbed to 3.4% in March, compared to 3% at this time last year, as jobless claims piled up.
Moving forward, raising the amount to $300 “could really help an individual get back on their feet and also being able to earn some extra money,” Butler said. “That $50 threshold doesn’t really help anybody.”